Aza, Sophie and Tom on the poof chair which we donated to a happy family through FreeCycle. If you aren't a member of FreeCycle, go to http://www.freecycle.org/ and find a location near you. Sign up for a daily digest and post items you want and items you want to get rid of. Save the landfills from trash! One person's trash is another's treasure. We found a taker for the Previa seats!

Aza went back to school today. Now it's just me, Dan and Squirt. Oh, and Frisbee and Mittens. I sure wish someone would find Maya so she could come home....

Working hard on the dissertation.
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The Previa chairs. I'm trying to give them away on Freecycle. Dan and I spent all weekend Freecycling and we gave away so many things and cleaned up the garage and the workshop in the process. Today I transcribed my first interview for my dissertation. The work is well under way.
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Aza left today for NC. Squirt left on Wednesday for Florida. Dan and I had the day to ourselves and we decided to start a garage sale pile. This is only the beginning. Hey kids, if you see something in this pile you must have, speak now or forever hold your peace. Today is my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sakura! Dan and I went for a very long walk this evening with Frisbee. We saw a deer. The river is all cloudy with green algae. Not a pretty sight. We watched Olympic history this evening on TV. Life is good.
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Another family treasure. Papa's chair. Papa built it in the 1950s at his furniture factory in Richmond, Virginia. I sat in it as a child- it was "my chair" when I went to visit my grandparents. I spent hours crying in this chair because I didn't want to leave my grandparents' house after visits. We inherited the chair after my grandparents died, I had it recovered, and it endured cats and a dog and a pack of teenaged kids loving it to death. I found a lady on Freecycle who was looking for a chair for her dog, so I decided to give it away. I took the legs off because it only had three.
My favorite flowers to grow are zinnias. Here's a zinnia I grew from seed. The rest of my garden is overgrown with weeds and a horrid embarassment, but there are flowers.
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Frisbee and Sophie in bed together. What a cute couple.
We got home a couple days ago and I ordered a new computer. It came today.
22 inch flatscreen monitor. Windows XP instead of that horrid Vista. I hope this one works out. My desktop photo is of Steamboat Springs, where Jes moved. It's good to be home. We had falafel for dinner the other night and I got a migraine that lasted for two days. I won't be eating that again! This week I'm going to test oranges though.
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Dan and Aza left yesterday for home, Jes left for Colorado, and Squirt and I leave tomorrow for home. I spent the day visiting with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law while Squirt was still in Chicago, Jes was on the road, and Dan and Aza were home. I took this "glamour shot" of the minivan as a parting goodbye. Isn't it beautiful (it's showing it's good side)? Such a treasure. Such memories. I should print this out in 8x10 and frame it on the family photo wall. Previa Minivan (we knew you by no other name), you were a good car. We will miss you.
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This is the view of the countryside from my in-laws' house. Today Squirt left for Chicago to visit a friend he'd met on his Outward Bound trip. He took the train- and barely made it.
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The minivan hobbled to Wisconsin, but could travel no further. The exhaust system was ruined and it sounded like a Harley. Poor minivan. We decided to ship all of Dan's stuff back home and leave the beloved family vehicle behind for life as scrap metal.
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Wow- today is 8-8-08. Today the entire family, including the baby, went to the Brewers game-- except me. I stayed back and worked on photos taken just before the game of the entire family and individual photos of family units. They all turned out well. These are some flowers Aza got from her boyfriend. Very pretty. Here are some family pics...

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8-7-08 continued

We spent the day at the Wisconsin State Fair. Avoiding the rides, we could not avoid the crowds. The food was eclectic (fried everything), but the best part by far was riding on the sky thingy.
The girls turned into cows while Dan and I became old farmers.
The sky thingy was so so so cool.
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Today is my mother-in-law's 70th birthday. The grandkids surprised her with a selection of lovely professional portraits of the 12 of them. We had a party at a local restaurant and watched old home movies and a picture slide show. A wonderful time was had by all.
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We spent the day at Little Muskego Lake. Jes taught all the older grandkids how to kayak. Squirt went waterskiing and tubing and we all had a turn on the boat. Dan and I took everyone's order and we went to Kopps and got everyone lunch. That was a treat!
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We traveled all day yesterday and arrived in Wisconsin after bedtime. Today we had a cookout with the whole family and the 12 grandchildren played together in the back yard.
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I made Sophie a scratching/climbing post. She loves it. She likes perching on top too!

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My computer going back to Dell.
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What an awful, awful day.

1am: Squirt calls and says he isn't coming home that he has an issue to deal with.

2am: Jes and Aza call and say that they lost Maya. She ran out of the motel room.

3am: Squirt comes home and tells me about wrestling keys from a drunk friend and taking him home.

4am: Sophie the kitten sleeps with me until 6am

6am: I wake with anxiety about Jes and Aza and Maya and begin to find ways to help find her.

3pm: My new computer totally crashes. Dead. Blue screen of death. Will not reinstall OS.

6pm: Squirt wants my car. I say no. He leaves anyway in someone else's car.

9pm: After 4 hours chatting and on phone with Dell technicians in India, I get machine running.

10 pm: No word from Squirt, no Maya, exhausted and on my way to bed. Squirt doens't have a key- no doubt he will ring the doorbell and wake me. He won't answer his phone.


Today Jes moved to Colorado. She loaded up her car, filled to the brim, and packed in her kitty Maya. It's a sad event and a happy event mixed together. I'm proud of my daughter for growing up to be such a successful, independent, capable and wise woman. I'm sad to say goodbye to my little girl. She and Aza are going to drive together for two days. I will meet them in Milwaukee on Monday.

On another note, the front page of our daily newspaper today features a former student of mine. What a thrill to see her accomplishments spotlighted.